Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

President Donald Trump poses with a football given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin during a joint press conference after their summit on July 16, 2018 in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

As White House Declares Summit a Success, Sanders Rips Trump-Putin Presser as 'Embarrassing Spectacle'

"Today is a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia. It is a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in."

Jake Johnson

While U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir declared during a joint press conference on Monday that their one-on-one discussion was "successful and useful," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) denounced the two leaders' public appearance   as "an embarrassing spectacle" and ripped Trump in particular for failing to "make clear that interference in our elections is unacceptable."

"Trump instead accepted Putin's denials and cast doubt on the conclusions of our intelligence community," Sanders wrote on Twitter as the White House lauded the Finland summit as "constructive."

"Today is a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia," Sanders added. "It is a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in."

Asked if he believes Putin's insistence that he did not meddle in the 2016 presidential election over the conclusions of American intelligence agencies, Trump highlighted the Russian president's "extremely strong and powerful" denials and said he can't "see any reason why" Russia would want to interfere in U.S. elections.

"They said they think it's Russia," Trump said. "I have President Putin; he just said it's not Russia."

As Common Dreams reported last week, Sanders called on Trump to use the Finland summit to confront Putin over his alleged role in election meddling—a demand that came just hours after 12 Russian military officers were indicted for "conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."

While Trump claimed that he and Putin spent a "great deal of time" on Monday discussing the topic of election interference, Sanders concluded that the U.S. president's "pathetic performance" at Monday's presser indicates that the two-hour meeting behind closed doors produced little substance.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Watch: Bernie Sanders Hosts 'Saving American Democracy' Town Hall

"Republicans in state after state are working to make it harder and harder to vote. We can't let them succeed."

Common Dreams staff ·


As SCOTUS Considers 'Extinguishing' Right to Abortion, Calls Mount for Congress to 'Step Up'

"Despite the protections that the legal framework like Roe provides, it has never been enough," said one doctor. "We continue to work toward reproductive justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Time to Get the Job Done': Stacey Abrams Launches New Georgia Gubernatorial Bid

"Now more than ever, it's clear Brian Kemp's days as governor are numbered."

Brett Wilkins ·


US Must Tackle Marine Plastics Pollution 'From Source to Sea': Report

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study found that the U.S. is responsible for about a quarter of the plastics that enter the world's oceans each year.

Brett Wilkins ·


First US Omicron Case Confirmed as WHO Chief Decries Failure to Share Vaccines Globally

Factors including low vaccine coverage have created "a recipe for breeding and amplifying variants," the top health official said.

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo